Entertainers Urge Bush Not to Attack Iraq

This is a partial transcript from The O'Reilly Factor, December 10, 2002. Click here to order the complete transcript.

Watch The O'Reilly Factor weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET and listen to the Radio Factor!

BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Now for the top story tonight. Scores of entertainers have signed a statement urging President Bush not to attack Iraq. Calling themselves Artists United to Win Without War, the show-biz folks held a press conference to make their feelings known. Some of the usual suspects signed the statement, including Barbra Streisand, Alec Baldwin, Rob Reiner, and Harry Belafonte.

But Clint Eastwood and Harrison Ford opposed the statement.

Joining us now from Stamford, Connecticut, is actor Joe Pantoliano, most recently in The Sopranos. And in New York, our old pal, actress Janeane Garofolo, which we will start with you, Janeane.

President Bush's mandate is to protect the American people. Would agree with that?

JANEANE GAROFOLO, ACTOR/ACTIVIST: Yes, I would.

O'REILLY: OK. Would you agree the United States must aggressively war, wage a war against terror? Would you agree with that?

GAROFOLO: Yes, but I don't agree they should aggressively wage war against Iraq right now without allowing the U.N. weapons inspectors to do their job and without working with the United Nations...

O'REILLY: OK. But they have...

GAROFOLO: ... and the Security Council.

O'REILLY: ... done that. I believe they've done that.

GAROFOLO: No, they're in the process...

O'REILLY: They've gone through the United Nations.

GAROFOLO: ... the U.N. weapons inspectors are in the process of trying to do their job, and we...

O'REILLY: Right.

GAROFOLO: ... urge diplomacy. Listen, if the -- if ...We want to see Americans protected. We do not believe that a military strike in Iraq makes Americans more safe. And it also escalates the violence consuming Israel and Palestine.

O'REILLY: All right, but no, I don't think anybody in the world expects President Bush to launch a unilateral strike without saying that Saddam Hussein has violated the U.N. mandate and has abused the inspectors.

GAROFOLO: OK...

O'REILLY: So I don't know why, I don't know why...

GAROFOLO: OK, but, well, what...

O'REILLY: ... this preemptive action been taken by the entertainers.

GAROFOLO: Well, because it seems like if you watch Fox News all day, and as I just was watching before this show, basically the anchor and the gentleman from the military that he was speaking to said, So we're going to war. And the military gentleman...

O'REILLY: Yes, but you don't...

GAROFOLO: ... said, yes, enjoy your Christmas. that's what he just said.

O'REILLY: All right. But look...

GAROFOLO: So wait, so wait, so...

O'REILLY: ... I mean, they are preparing, they're preparing for a conflict should one ensue.

GAROFOLO: Right.

O'REILLY: But believe me, Janeane, I have a lot of information. And there is nobody with their finger on a button on it.

Let's get to Mr. Pantoliano, we'll come back to you.

You didn't sign the statement because you told our guys that you're not a pack guy, you don't go along with that, but you do believe that the United States should not take aggressive action against Iraq. How did you arrive at that conclusion, sir?

JOE PANTOLIANO, ACTOR: Well, I believe that the United States should wait and see. We should be in a wait-and-see. I think that Iraq is a very dangerous place. And I would hate to see -- you were talking about children and parents taking care of children. I think a lot of people are upset and worried to see their children going to war in Iraq and losing their children there. I have a son...

O'REILLY: ...

PANTOLIANO: ... that's of age that would be drafted if this escalated into a major war.

O'REILLY: Oh, well, let's not get ahead of ourselves now. I don't think there's a draft in play, I think the military...

PANTOLIANO: What do you think's in play, Bill?

O'REILLY: ... could easily handle the situation.

PANTOLIANO: What do you think's in play?

O'REILLY: What I think it in play is this. There is a war on terror going on. The Bush administration has come to the conclusion that Saddam Hussein is a terrorist enabler, that is, he finances and trains Hamas...

PANTOLIANO: And that he.. they keep telling me that they have weapons of mass destruction...

O'REILLY: Yes, I don't know...

PANTOLIANO: ...

O'REILLY: ... whether that's true or not, but I would say that...

PANTOLIANO: Well, how can we...

O'REILLY: ... it is likely through.

PANTOLIANO: ...how can we get rid of -- all -- I think we should get rid of Saddam. I think that with our expertise and the power that we have, we should get somebody in there and take him out and take his sons out. Right? You know, take the head off of that fish. And end it. But I don't think all of those poor Iraqi people that are being tortured and...

O'REILLY: But you can't do that, sir.

PANTOLIANO: You've got to kill all those people to get to him?

O'REILLY: You see, it's like Afghanistan.

PANTOLIANO: It's not.

O'REILLY: It's like Afghanistan. You can't remove a fascist government like the Taliban or the party in Iraq that Saddam Hussein has without...

PANTOLIANO: Killing all of those innocent people.

(CROSSTALK)

GAROFOLO: Well, we, we, we've really done...

O'REILLY: Not killing all of them.

GAROFOLO: ... a lot of damage in Afghanistan.

O'REILLY: But it without, without going in with the military and breaking down his defense system, you simply can't do it. If we could, we would have. We can't.

But look, let's get back to the basic tenet. Miss Garofolo...

GAROFOLO: Yes.

O'REILLY: ... I understand, and I'm with you. I mean, I think people would be surprised to hear this. I'm a warmonger hawk.

GAROFOLO: What?

O'REILLY: All right? I want to see a very logical explanation for any military action. However, I will tell you, Miss Garofolo, that I believe, based on what I know, that Saddam Hussein destabilizes Israel, and the reason al Qaeda has the power to attack us is because the Arab world hates us basically based on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Would you agree with that?

GAROFOLO: I would say a military strike destabilizes the Middle East further and really, like I said, escalates the violence in Israel and Palestine. And as Joe said, tons of -- tons. A lot of innocent Iraqis and Americans would die. I, I -- what, what do you know? You said you know things. What do you know?

O'REILLY: Well, we know that the captured Israeli, captured Palestinian documents show that Saddam Hussein trains and funds Hamas and Islamic Jihad to blow up Israeli civilians. As long as that goes on, there'll never be peace there. And as long as we support Israel, the Arabs and al Qaeda will hate us. There's the, there's the dots. So you get rid of Saddam Hussein, and then you've got a chance to end peace in Israel.

Mr. Pantoliano, that make sense to you?

PANTOLIANO: It makes sense. But it seems like that we put Saddam Hussein there, we have him the weapons of mass destruction.

O'REILLY: Doesn't make any difference, that was a long time ago. And we dealt with Stalin before World War II. You know how history changes.

PANTOLIANO: Yes, and we were the Vietnam conflict, and all those Vietnamese that were going to destroy us, and now look at it. I mean, it's like all of the American...

O'REILLY: Well, look, I mean...

PANTOLIANO: ... that got killed over there, it's a -- I don't know, Bill, I'm not a...

O'REILLY: But Mr. Pantoliano...

PANTOLIANO: ... politician.

O'REILLY: ... what I'm saying to you is this. You guys got to think about it. You guys got to think it. When you say Vietnam, you know, there are 2 million Cambodians slaughtered by the communists under Pol Pot.

GAROFOLO: And a whole lot of Cambodians...

O'REILLY: So...

GAROFOLO: ... slaughtered under, a lot of people think, under Kissinger and Nixon.

O'REILLY: Well, under Lon Nol there were no ... civilians slaughtered, Miss Garofolo, that's...

GAROFOLO: What?

O'REILLY: ... true. You see, Pol Pot was a communist, and he killed 2 million of his own people.

What you need, guys need to do...

GAROFOLO: There was no secret bombing campaign...

O'REILLY: ...

PANTOLIANO: ...what were we dropping...

GAROFOLO: ... in Cambodia?

PANTOLIANO: ... out of our airplanes?

O'REILLY: With what?

PANTOLIANO: What were we dropping out of our airplanes?

O'REILLY: Our airplanes were bombing the Ho Chi Minh trail, where North Vietnamese were coming down.

GAROFOLO: So we did, we didn't, we didn't have a secret bombing campaign of Cambodia?

O'REILLY: Sure we did, on the Ho Chi Minh trail, Miss Garofolo. That goes through Cambodia.

GAROFOLO: Boy, we must be reading different history books.

O'REILLY: No -- look...

GAROFOLO: But be that as it may, I think that we're -- all we're asking is for, for just to let the U.N. weapons inspectors do their job, just...

O'REILLY: Yes, and I'm with you on that.

GAROFOLO: ... this constant...

(CROSSTALK)

GAROFOLO: ... towards war...

PANTOLIANO: ... what the U.N. is saying? A lot of...

O'REILLY: I'm with you on that.

PANTOLIANO: ... a lot of major countries feel this way too. And I don't think...

O'REILLY: But once they find...

PANTOLIANO: ... -- and why don't, why doesn't...

O'REILLY: ... once they find...

PANTOLIANO: ... the U.S. just take over the oil?

GAROFOLO: Let them find it, if they're going to find it.

O'REILLY: Wait, wait! Hold on...

PANTOLIANO: Why don't they just -- Hey, Bill, why don't they just go and occupy the oil areas? Just take the oil over. Then we don't have to kill any people.

O'REILLY: No, you see, oil...

PANTOLIANO: That...

O'REILLY: ... oil is not what it's al about. But I know that's the propaganda. But I'll tell you this, once Saddam Hussein is found to have violated the U.N. mandates, then we're going to go in.

GAROFOLO: If he's found, if he's found...

O'REILLY: And we're going to remove him.

GAROFOLO: ... even the way you're speaking...

O'REILLY: And that's the right thing to do.

GAROFOLO: ... if, if he's found to have violated.

PANTOLIANO: found...

O'REILLY: If they find him.

PANTOLIANO: ... we found Milosevic, we could find him.

GAROFOLO: If, if, if.

O'REILLY: All right. Well, we'll see. And we appreciate you guys. We hope you come back...

GAROFOLO: Thank you.

O'REILLY: ... and discuss it further. Thanks very much, pleasure.

PANTOLIANO: Bye, Bill. See you, Janeane.

GAROFOLO: Bye.

Click here to order the complete transcript.

Copy: Content and Programming Copyright 2002 Fox News Network, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2002 eMediaMillWorks, Inc. (f/k/a Federal Document Clearing House, Inc.), which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon Fox News Network, Inc.'s and eMediaMillWorks, Inc.'s copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.